Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah Vogelsong

Sarah is Editor-in-Chief of the Mercury and previously its environment and energy reporter. She has worked for multiple Virginia and regional publications, including Chesapeake Bay Journal, The Progress-Index and The Caroline Progress. Her reporting has won awards from groups such as the Society of Environmental Journalists and Virginia Press Association, and she is an alumna of the Columbia Energy Journalism Initiative and Metcalf Institute Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists.

You’ve heard of cap-and-trade. But what about cap-and-dividend?

By: - April 25, 2019

Maybe you’ve heard of cap-and-trade, but what about “cap and dividend?” Even as Virginia moves to limit the amount of carbon it allows power plants to release, a Northern Virginia Democratic congressman is pushing again for federal action to drive down emissions of the greenhouse gas driving climate change. U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, D-8th, who […]

Biggest piece of Spotsylvania solar farm approved

By: - April 10, 2019

After months of deliberation, the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night approved a special use permit for the largest piece of a planned solar farm that, if built as proposed, would be the biggest on the East Coast. The supervisors, who split 5-2 on the vote, with Chairman Paul Trampe and Courtland District […]

Comment closes Wednesday on permit for giant new natural gas power plant in Charles City

By: - March 19, 2019

A proposed new natural gas-fired power plant in Charles City County, which, if built, would be among the largest power generators in the state, has sparked few objections, even as other new gas infrastructure has faced a contentious path to approval.  Only three people spoke at a hearing hosted by the Virginia Department of Environmental […]

Hundreds pack into contentious Spotsylvania meeting on solar project; supervisors delay decision

By: - February 27, 2019

After a marathon nine-hour meeting at which more than 100 people spoke, the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors delayed a decision on whether a massive solar facility will be built in the western part of the county. Just before 1:30 a.m. Wednesday, the board voted to continue its discussion of all three sites involved in the […]

Virginia’s biggest proposed solar project is also among its most contentious local land use fights

By: - February 25, 2019

As a proposal to construct the largest solar energy facility on the East Coast prepares to go before the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors Tuesday night, determined opposition from some neighbors highlights the tension between what locals want in their backyards and growing demand for renewable energy. This January, the Spotsylvania Planning Commission recommended the […]

Virginia farmers see lots of promise in hemp, though uncertainty around economic benefits remains

By: - January 30, 2019

While the legalization of marijuana in the commonwealth remains elusive, potential economic benefits may persuade Virginia legislators to lift restrictions on the plant’s cousin, hemp, bringing the state in line with new federal regulations.  The 2019 session of the General Assembly saw the filing of five new bills that would remove barriers to the cultivation […]

Virginia farmers get money to help clean up the bay

By: - January 11, 2019

A Virginia region that is an unlikely but critical partner in the commonwealth’s efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay has been selected as one of the recipients of more than $1.7 million in federal and matching funds: the Shenandoah Valley. Last month, the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation announced that it would channel […]

Developer’s environmental violations at historic Richmond County cliffs referred to attorney general

By: - October 1, 2018

Environmental violations at the site of a planned luxury golf course development, where illegally cleared land has caused the culturally, biologically and historically significant Fones Cliffs above the Rappahannock River to erode, have been referred to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring for enforcement. Virginia Department of Environmental Quality spokeswoman Ann Regn confirmed Thursday that the […]

‘As if we don’t exist:’ Opponents call on air board to reject pipeline compressor station permit

By: - September 12, 2018

BUCKINGHAM — Scores of people came out Tuesday night against a proposed compressor station in rural Buckingham County for Dominion Energy’s Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The public hearing, held by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, was intended to solicit input on a draft air quality permit to construct and operate a 54,000-horsepower natural gas compressor […]

Caroline County Virginia soybean field

‘I’d prefer they just stay out of it:’ Virginia farmers caught in the middle of trade war

By: - September 5, 2018

Even as the trade war between the United States and China threatens to dramatically drive down the price of the nation’s top agricultural export, many Virginia soybean farmers are adopting a cautious stance of “wait and see.” “We’re hearing from some farmers that are understandably very upset with the administration because it is affecting the […]

Cumberland landfill, fiercely opposed by locals, would be state’s first new mega dump in two decades

By: - July 24, 2018

CUMBERLAND COUNTY —  A Virginia political issue largely consigned to the dust heap of history in the late 1990s resurfaced this June when the Cumberland County Board of Supervisors voted to allow plans to go forward for the construction of a mega-landfill just a mile from the Cumberland–Powhatan border. If the company behind the project, […]